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Is Hair Loss a symptom of Covid-19?

In the last couple of weeks there has been a increase in the reporting of Coronavirus sufferers seeing large amounts of hair loss as they battle the virus. At this stage hair loss is not considered an official symptom of the virus, but if the number of reports continues to increase then it would need to be considered.

With incidence of the positive coronavirus tests in the USA continuing to rise, its no surprise to see that there has also been a high incidence of hair loss being associated with the virus there. The type of hair loss people are reporting is sudden hair loss with large clumps coming out overnight or when they shower. This differs from the most common cause of hair loss, Androgenetic Alopecia (also known as Male/Female Pattern Baldness). Androgenetic Alopecia is a much more gradual form of hair loss and follows a set pattern that is determined by our inherited genes.

So, what is causing the hair loss that has been seen? The most likely cause is the stress that the virus puts our body under. When the body is under attack like this, the body will prioritise the most key functions of the body while also doing what it can do to fight off the virus. Our hair is one of the least important organs and is one of the first to suffer when the body is under elevated mental or physical stress. Unfortunately, there is not much that can be done to prevent the stress the body goes through as a result of Coronavirus. A potentially deadly disease like this will cause untold mental stress along with the physical stress. If hair loss is seen while suffering from hair loss, there is no reason to think that the hair loss will be permanent. Once you have beaten the virus and regular bodily functions return and the hair should also begin to regrow. It will however take time to regrow to the length that it was before, which could take months or years depending on the length you like to keep your hair.

More research has come out recently to support the claim that men with existing hair loss are more likely to suffer from more severe symptoms of hair loss. At the moment this claim is on the basis of correlation in the data that has been collected. No one has yet been able to identify a reason for why this correlation has been observed in multiple locations around the world. The latest research collected data from 2,000 men in the UK that had been admitted to hospital due to testing positive for Covid-19. The research goes on to say that the other risk factors associated with severe Covid-19 symptoms, age and diabetes, did not explain the disparity in risk for men that have existing hair loss.

In total the research said that bald men were 40% more likely to suffer from severe Covid-19 symptoms in comparison to men that had no hair loss at all. Research will continue to delve into the link between Covid-19 and Hair Loss.

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